We are creating an assembly welding system that utilizes three lasers to weld two hollow, stainless steel tubes together, to a very tight tolerance of 0.001" TIR. This system welds two new tubes together every 15 seconds. After the weld, each piece is inspected by a high speed 2D optical Keyence micrometer.
What makes this kind of laser welding challenging?
It is challenging because the tolerance of tooling must be extraordinarily precise. Taking two tubes and creating a weld joint between them with such a tight tolerance means that the tooling holding on each side must be setup to even higher tolerances in order to ensure the final result of the process is within the accepted tolerance range.
How do you make this work?
First we have to work to get the tolerances correct. The tolerance makes it challenging. When Genesis Automation began designing the system to automate
this process, we had to expand upon our previous knowledge of part fixturing and laser welding. Next we had to incorporate all of that knowledge into the design because the precise alignment of the two separate
tubes was critical to ensuring a successful weld.
Second, we had to equalize the welding forces imposed by the lasers. Unlike using a single laser beam, using three laser beams simultaneously tripled the force. Equalizing that force to maintain the 0.001" TIR took extraordinary precision and skill.
“There’s a lot of numbers to the right of the decimal point!”
Figure 1: The assembly that holds the two tubes in alignment for welding.
When your project requires intricate design and engineering, contact Genesis Automation.